Teacher Gets Smacked With Lesson On Respect After Stomping Flag In Front Of Students

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Massey Hill Classical High School teacher Lee Francis stepped on the U.S. flag as part of a lesson he was giving about the First Amendment.  Now he is the one being quizzed on free speech after being put on administrative leave Tuesday.

In an interview with the Fayetteville Observer, Francis asked “My question to everyone is, ‘Who is entitled to freedom of speech? Does everyone have access to freedom of speech?’ It’s unfortunate that all this has happened.”

The controversy began when a picture of Francis standing over a flag that lay crumpled on the floor of his classroom started circulating on social media. According to the report, Francis will remain on leave until an investigation into the incident is completed.

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Lee Francis stands next to a crumpled American flag after stomping on it during an American history lesson.

Mad World News reports:

Francis’s antics slightly mirror the disrespect that we’ve seen lately from some NFL players who refuse to stand for our National Anthem and show respect for the flag. However, this teacher took it a step further, blaming the First Amendment for the “lesson” he was trying to teach the students.

“It’s really disconcerting,” Francis explained. “My question to everyone is who is entitled to freedom of speech? Does everyone have access to freedom of speech? It’s unfortunate that all this has happened.”

Francis made his comments after students said he stepped on the American flag during a lesson about free speech, and outrage ensued after Facebook user Sara Taylor, who said her child has a friend in Francis’ class, posted a photo of Francis’ foot on the flag during the lesson, according to Fay Observer. In a post, Taylor also wrote that Francis allegedly asked the students for a lighter or scissors, but no one had one, so Francis threw the flag on the floor and “stomped” on it two or three times.

Francis may be in more trouble than he bargained for. According to a North Carolina law, General Statue 14-381, states that it is unlawful to “cast contempt upon any flag of the United States or upon any flag of North Carolina by public acts of physical contact including, but not limited to, mutilation, defiling, defacing or trampling.”

“Any person violating this section shall be deemed guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor,” the law states.

General Statute 14-381, says that it is unlawful “to cast contempt upon any flag of the United States or upon any flag of North Carolina by public acts of physical contact including, but not limited to, mutilation, defiling, defacing or trampling. Any person violating this section shall be deemed guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.”

Cumberland County Schools Superintendent Frank Till Jr. said that he will be waiting to get all the facts about the incident before deciding if any action should be taken. “I don’t want to make any comments until I get it sorted all out,” Till said.

Francis has received support from the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina.

“One of the reasons our country is great is that the Constitution gives people the right to free speech and expression, no matter how much others may disagree or be uncomfortable with the message,” Mike Meno, a spokesman for the ACLU, said. “And that is certainly a lesson worth teaching. The very freedoms and principles that the American flag represents include the freedom to stomp on the flag.”

H/T [Mad World News]

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